Steve, our sunset photography teacher, paused dramatically before sharing a secret trick to make waterfalls flow like silk threads, and people disappear on busy landscapes. He held up a special filter, as if he was showing off a fist-sized ruby from a maharaja, and explained how we could use it.
The idea, I believe, was that cameras set at long exposure times would not record images that didn’t hold still during the entire exposure period, and that this special filter protected images from being overexposed to light during an especially long exposure time.
The filter—the variable neutral density filter—could be adjusted to limit the amount of light entering the eye of the camera.
My thoughts drifted to a similar situation that occurred several weeks ago, at a restaurant…
I was having lunch with a woman and was listening to her experiences about her trip to Japan, where she had accompanied her husband over the course of many days. Her conversation centered on the horrors she experienced with Japanese cuisine, in particular, sushi. I recall that the conversation drifted later to politics, where she shared some defamatory gossip about a particular politician (who I liked). Not wanting to get into an argument over politics, I simply smiled and listened. This individual had repeatedly expressed to me an admiration and desire for being “positive,” but was clearly struggling that day.
Like a camera set at a long exposure time, she could not register certain events, people, or emotions that flowed through her landscape of life, for they moved too quickly, as if their vibrations were too fast for the eye of her life camera to perceive and capture. (Oh, look at those beautiful Japanese women, with their long, flowing black hair! Wow, this city is teeming with such energy! I am so lucky to experience such a different culture than what I have been used to.) She perceived the negative impressions and experiences everywhere she went as being normal, because she had a filter that prevented light from entering her I.
Of course she is not the only one, who suffers from the unfortunate effects of light preventing filters and life cameras, which fail to capture the higher vibrations of joy, love, and peace. We all do, to a certain extent.
Just a few days ago, my brother talked about how ideal my life circumstances were, and how wonderful he imagined it must be to live the way I did. I, on the other hand, had just written a poem a week before, lamenting my place in life, just as he was doing with me at that moment.
As we talked, I became more grateful for my life. We all struggle with filters that prevent light from entering our lives, some more than others. All too often, we remember the negative experiences and think that is reality and normality. In the meantime, our life cameras are missing the experiences of light that could bring us greater joy, love, peace, and abundance. In other words, if we focus on rapidly capturing light when exposed to it, we re-image-in beauty and goodness back into our lives.
Unfortunately, our sunset photography class was located at a place where we could not see a sunset, whatsoever. Clouds got in the way. However, in light of the lesson I learned about filters, I think it went well enough.